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Monday 25 March 2024

Miskatonic Monday #272: The Mask of the Black Sun

Between October 2003 and October 2013, Chaosium, Inc. published a series of books for Call of Cthulhu under the Miskatonic University Library Association brand. Whether a sourcebook, scenario, anthology, or campaign, each was a showcase for their authors—amateur rather than professional, but fans of Call of Cthulhu nonetheless—to put forward their ideas and share with others. The programme was notable for having launched the writing careers of several authors, but for every Cthulhu Invictus, The Pastores, Primal State, Ripples from Carcosa, and Halloween Horror, there was Five Go Mad in Egypt, Return of the Ripper, Rise of the Dead, Rise of the Dead II: The Raid, and more...

The Miskatonic University Library Association brand is no more, alas, but what we have in its stead is the Miskatonic Repository, based on the same format as the DM’s Guild for Dungeons & Dragons. It is thus, “...a new way for creators to publish and distribute their own original Call of Cthulhu content including scenarios, settings, spells and more…” To support the endeavours of their creators, Chaosium has provided templates and art packs, both free to use, so that the resulting releases can look and feel as professional as possible. To support the efforts of these contributors, Miskatonic Monday is an occasional series of reviews which will in turn examine an item drawn from the depths of the Miskatonic Repository.

Publisher: Chaosium, Inc.
Author: Alexander Nachaj

Setting: Jazz Age Canada

Product: Scenario
What You Get: Twelve page, 2.11 MB Full Colour PDF

Elevator Pitch: A stolen case leads to stolen mask
Plot Hook: When a monster crosses your path...
Plot Support: Staging advice, ten handouts, four NPCs, and one Mythos monster
Production Values: Tidy.

# Very straightforward investigation
# Easy to slot into an existing campaign
# Easy to adjust to other times and places
# Easy to run as a convention scenario
# Plays to the Private Detective tropes
# Masklophobia
# Kinemortophobia
# Foniasophobia

# Needs an edit
# Very straightforward investigation
# Uninteresting villains and motivations
# No maps
# No floorplans
# Plays to the Private Detective clichés
# Handouts are text handouts, even for the photographs

# Unsophisticated, very straightforward investigation
# Plays to the tropes and clichés of the Private Detective genre and is easy to adapt

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